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Best Offset Smoker: The Ultimate Buying Guide

If you are in a hurry and want to find out what the Best Offset Smoker is is then we would recommend the Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Reverse Flow Offset Smoker.

Have you ever wished you could make a pulled pork sandwich that rivals your favorite BBQ joint? If you have the time and motivation, you can do just that – and more – with an offset smoker. 

Racks of ribs, brisket, and even pulled pork sandwiches can be yours in the comfort of your own home. Nothing creates that unique smoky flavor like a smoker, so we created this guide to help you choose the best offset smoker. 

Here are the offset smokers that we will be reviewing:

The Best Offset Smokers

Now that you know what to look for, let’s take a look at the best offset smokers we found. After thorough research (and some experimentation), we feel confident that these five offset smokers are the best available. 

Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Reverse Flow Offset Smoker

This heavy duty offset smoker tops nearly every list we found, and for several good reasons. It’s more affordable than most offset smokers, even though it uses heavy gauge steel. 

Specifications:

  • Cooking space: 619 square inches
  • Dimensions: 39” x 20.9” x 23”
  • Weight: 176 pounds

Pros:

  • A great option for a beginner.
  • Excellent value for the price at a few hundred dollars below average without compromising the quality of metal.
  • Heat distribution is impressive, with limited variation in temperature throughout the cooking chamber.
  • The firebox is more versatile than other models because you can also use it as a warming rack or grill.

Cons:

  • Oklahoma Joe didn’t do a great job sealing the chambers. You need to use a sealant to prevent leakage.
  • Food near the firebox cooks faster. You may want to modify the space between the firebox and cooking chamber with a higher quality gasket kit. 

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Char-Griller Smokin Pro

Beginners and anyone seeking a budget option could do worse than Char-Griller’s Smokin Pro offset grill. It’s attractive and has some additional features you’d find on higher-end products, though the overall quality leaves something to be desired.

Specifications:

  • Cooking space: 580 square inches plus 250 square inches in the firebox
  • Dimensions: 62” x 50” x 29”
  • Weight: 146 pounds

Pros:

  • One of the most affordable options on our list.
  • It’s lightweight and easy to move compared to other models.
  • It doubles as a grill when you use the adjustable charcoal tray.

Cons:

  • It leaks, so you need to modify the smoker to compensate, especially in windy conditions. 
  • Expect peeling paint and other signs of wear and tear after a few uses. 
  • The thermometer quality is poor. 

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Broil King 958050 Offset Smoker

Broil King put out a sturdy, reliable, mid-range offset smoker. You know the name because they have a history of churning out quality grills. It turns out Broil King also makes some decent smokers.

Specifications:

  • Cooking space: 625 square inches
  • Dimensions: 52.5” x 60” x 26”
  • Weight: 186 pounds

Pros:

  • The grates are porcelain-coated cast iron, making them durable and efficient.
  • Sturdy but mobile because it’s compact and wheeled.
  • Includes a five-year warranty.

Cons:

  • The steel is a little thinner than we like. 
  • The only thermometer leaves something to be desired. 

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Outsunny 48” Steel Portable Backyard BBQ Grill and Offset Smoker Combo

Grillers seeking the best of both worlds may want to check out this grill and offset smoker combo. It’s a hybrid and an affordable alternative to save space in your backyard.

Specifications:

  • Cooking space: BBQ interior: 24.25” x 13.5”, Firebox interior: 11.75” x 13.5”
  • Dimensions: 48.75” x 21” x 42.5”
  • Weight: 38 pounds

Pros:

  • Grill and smoker all-in-one allows for multiple uses.
  • Two shelves inside give you maximum space for food prep.
  • Made of rust-resistant steel for durability.

Cons:

  • It’s small and won’t accommodate as much food as full smokers.
  • Too lightweight to smoke some things, like brisket.

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Royal Gourmet 30” BBQ Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker

This product is another hybrid option, but it looks more like an offset smoker than a grill. Unlike Outsunny’s hybrid, Royal Gourmet is a smoker first and grill second. On our list this is the best offset smoker for the money.

Specifications:

  • Cooking space: 800 square inches
  • Dimensions: 55.1” x 48.4” x 27.2”
  • Weight: 54 pounds

Pros:

  • Use it as a smoker, then switch to a grill when you feel like it.
  • The cooking grates are porcelain-coated for even heat distribution.
  • It’s easy to clean.

Cons:

  • It’s small, almost too short for some adults to use it comfortably.
  • Many users complain about problems maintaining temperatures due to leakage.

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

How to Choose an Offset Smoker

Offset smokers remain one of the most popular choices for grillers. The classic smoker design allows home grillers to manage heat and temperature with ease. Offset smokers are large enough to handle everything from briskets to racks of ribs, and they don’t disappoint on flavor.  

How Do Offset Smokers Cook Food?

Offset smokers have two chambers, a large one that holds your food and a smaller one that contains the heat source. This type of smoker earned its name because of the offset smaller chamber, slightly lower and to the side or back of the large chamber.

By using this classic design, offset smokers create heat in the smaller chamber, or firebox. The heat flows into the larger chamber and circulates around your food to cook it slowly. 

An offset smoker also has a temperature gauge on the main chamber to monitor the internal temperature. If it gets too hot, you can release heat to ensure your meat stays at a desirable temperature. 

Benefits of Using an Offset Smoker

Why are offset smokers so popular? Besides delivering some of the tastiest, juiciest meat, you can find, offset smokers have a lot of perks.

  • The large chamber is massive, so it’s perfect for preparing meals for large groups all at once instead of a little bit at a time.
  • Since the firebox is separated from the cooking chamber, you can open it to add fuel without releasing the heat and smoke cooking your food.
  • You can use a combination of wood and charcoal in offset smokers, so you don’t have excess residue from the fuel.   

Potential Drawbacks of Offset Smokers

There’s no question that offset smokers are awesome, but they aren’t right for everybody. Consider some of these potential drawbacks before buying.

  • Offset smokers are massive and weigh a lot, especially the heavy duty offset smokers, so they take up space and aren’t easy to maneuver.
  • All smokers take longer to cook food than traditional grills and gas smokers, so expect a time commitment, usually twelve hours or more.
  • There is a bit of a learning curve involved in mastering offset smokers

Questions to Answer Before Purchasing an Offset Smoker

If you made it this far, you probably made up your mind that an offset smoker is right for you. That’s great! In your quest to find the best offset smoker for you, try answering these questions to narrow your search. 

What is the Construction Quality?

Offset smokers are investments, so you want to choose a quality model. Look for an offset smoker made of high-quality metal that’s at least 1/4-inch thick to retain heat better and reduce fuel usage. 

Make sure the vents, hinges, and food chamber doors open and shut properly. 

Is the Price Right?

Cheap is never a good price when it comes to offset smokers. Be wary of big deals, even from reputable sellers. A good offset smoker should cost between $800 and $1000 for a base model.  

How Much Room Do I Have?

These smokers are monsters. Make sure you can accommodate the size and leave plenty of room around the firebox. It’s a good idea to measure the space you set aside for the offset smoker – and don’t plan to remodel the area after you set up the offset smoker. 

Tips for Using an Offset Smoker

There is a learning curve for offset smokers, but that doesn’t mean it’s complicated. Once you learn how to use an offset smoker, it’s all about fine-tuning your recipes, temperatures, and times. 

Prep your Smoker

Before using your offset smoker for the first time, make sure you clean it thoroughly with soapy water. Season the inside of the cooking chamber by spraying it with vegetable oil.  

Check the Temp

Set up two temperature probes in the smoker, one near your food and the other at the opposite end of the chamber. You don’t want to rely on the built-in thermometer because they tend to measure the temp on the 

Experiment with Fuel

A combination of wood and charcoal briquettes works well for limiting ash and creosote contamination in your food. You can also experiment with different types of wood (we suggest fruitwoods and nutwoods). Avoid wood chips because they burn too quickly. 

Our Choice for Best Offset Smoker

It’s tough to choose one winner, but if we had to pick, it would have to be Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Reverse Flow Offset Smoker. There’s very little compromise in quality, and it’s easy to seal the leaky spots on your own. 

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